Sharan in Avatara Purusha 2
Sharan in Avatara Purusha 2

Avatara Purusha 2 review: Suni's sequel is incoherent, underwhelming

Sharan's charm somehow salvages the film, but that too is let down by a meandering narrative that bites way more than it can chew.
Avatara Purusha 2 (Kannada)(2.5 / 5)

Writer-director Suni's work has always aroused excitement among Kannada moviegoers. Even though his oeuvre is dominated by modern love stories that are underlined by his very characteristic wordplay and use of music, Suni has time and again revealed a penchant for trying something new and slightly out of the ordinary. His dialogues, in particular, highlight his philosophical musings and his joining forces with a talented actor like Sharan for a new venture only piqued the curiosities further. 

The result of this collaboration is, of course, the two-part film Avatara Purusha. Billed as a unique blend of Sharan's comedic escapades and Suni's own novel attempt at the horror/occult genre, the films carried a lot of potential and expectations with them. While the first instalment, with the rather quirky title Astadigbandanamadalakam (released in 2022), sets the context and introduces Sharan's central character of Anil, the spiritual Jois family, the world of black magic and so much more, the second part Trishanku Payanam was meant to round things off for this convoluted plot. And convoluted indeed, the sequel Avatara Purusha 2, is ultimately rendered a messy affair that bites way more than it can chew. The result is an incoherent film that leaves behind more questions than it can answer.

To initiate the film, struggling junior artist Anil is hired by Siri (Ashika Ranganath) to play a very specific role in the Rama Jois (Saikumar) household. We learn that Siri's mother (Sudharani), also Rama Jois' dear sister, is held responsible for losing her brother's only son Karna, and the relationship between the two is thus fractured almost permanently. Cut to the present, Siri hatches a bizarre plan to introduce the Jois' their long-lost son through an actor and mend the equation. Anil's propensity to 'overact' and the family's own warped relation with an evil dark arts sorcerer named Dharka (Ashuthosh Rana) and his men form the crux of the story. How Anil becomes an integral element in this good vs evil battle is the job that Avatara Purusha 2 undertakes. 

Where the sequel falters the most is when it tries to take on an excessive amount of material. Despite the luxury of a 4-hour runtime, Avatara Purusha 2  functions erratically and never wishes to lay proper focus on the heart of the matter, which is that of the missing boy. In fact, one might claim that the film(s) even fail to recognise its true emotional core and instead run haphazardly from one plot point to another. The black magic portions, as fascinating as they are at the idea level, consequently become a huge distraction and despite the vividness with which cinematographer William David captures them, they don't add much value to the overall narrative. The music scored by Arjun Janya is then made to handhold us through the rollercoaster ride and lend some sense of meaning to the narrative. 

It is evident that Suni, as a writer, boasts several ideas for his film, but the inattentive approach doesn't allow him to use any of them to their fullest potential. For instance, the mystery surrounding the missing boy Karna is hardly awarded any screen time because the screenplay meanders so much. 

Similarly, other elements like the Trishanku realm, the mighty war waged by Dharka to gain its control, and the Trishanku stone that resides in a precarious position get sidelined and are treated clumsily. We are introduced to a plethora of characters over time that don't matter much either. Suni then attempts to dispense information to us through wordy dialogues but none of them really come to his aid. Add to this a romance angle, a mother-son dynamic, a redundant comic-relief segment featuring Sadhu Kokila and so much more that you just cannot wrap your head around any of it. 

Sharan, though, salvages the film to a certain extent with his charm. The actor has proven many a time that he has great control over comedy but here, he exudes once again, conviction for the more dramatic parts as well. 

Avatara Purusha 2, in particular, requires him to tackle characters of myriad shades and Sharan steps up to the task, but not without being let down ultimately by an ineffective script. The sequel film is said to have faced troubles during production and also during its theatrical release. The delay in its arrival on the big screen seems to only indicate that Suni, a seasoned filmmaker today, was not fully in his element. The jarring gaps in the story, too, could be attributed to these difficulties. 

Avatara Purusha 2, no doubt, is full of promise, but the film's patchiness, in both its writing and the execution, is too glaring to be ignored. It certainly has a few interesting and catchy moments, such as the finale confrontation between Sharan and Ashutosh Rana, but they come in a scarce manner. 

A more cohesive and simpler vision would have possibly allowed the film to fare better, but that unfortunately isn't the case here. Give this one a chance if you want to see Sharan's "overacting".

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the series/film. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organisation may have with producers or any other members of its cast or crew.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute